Peter Rabbit puppet show to raise funds for Fallbrook Senior Center

FALLBROOK – A March 30 fundraiser for the Fallbrook Senior Center will be staged as a family affair. A puppet show titled “Peter Rabbit” is, of course, aimed at delighting families and children. The show will also feature a local family that is planning, promoting and performing the event.

“It’s fantastic,” said Doris Ham, a senior center board member who suggested the show as a way to raise money for the nonprofit service club. It will also give Ham a chance to showcase the talents of her daughter and granddaughter.

“It will really involve our family,” said Millie Patterson, Ham’s daughter who is a full-time performer at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater in San Diego’s Balboa Park. “We’ll have three generations there.”

The fundraiser will be a rare treat for the community and the organization that serves seniors throughout the region, said Virginia Cooke, the center’s executive director. Patterson has displayed some of her puppets at the senior center before, but this will be her first show there.

Patterson’s daughter, Alison, will participate in the show. The mother-daughter team is counting down their final performances together because Alison, who is finishing work on her college arts degree, plans to get married in December and move from the family’s Oceanside home. They will wrap up an 11-day stint at the Balboa theater before bouncing up to Fallbrook for the Beatrix Potter-inspired show.

Patterson, 62, makes her own puppets, sets and props. She uses a range of puppet styles including rod puppets, hand puppets, mouth puppets and marionettes to tell traditional fairy tales.

Patterson will use a booth set and hand puppets for her Fallbrook show. The set and puppets were created by a former puppetry partner, Enid Bartnieki. The senior center is requesting a $5 per person donation for admission to the shows that will start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The shows will last about 30 minutes each and cookies and punch will be served.

The center is located at 399 Heald Lane. For more information about show, the senior center, its meals, thrift shop and activities, call (760) 728-4498 or visit

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